Google abandons SoHo store before opening

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has apparently abandoned plans for its own banner and has walked away from a pending New York City store already under construction.

Google had planned to open a 5,500 sq. ft. shop in SoHo. The company leased the space last year and spent close to $6 million in renovations, according to Crain's. Now Google is attempting to sublease the space, asking for $2.25 million in annual rent.

The location would have put Google in the same neighborhood as Apple and in lock step with its contemporaries: Microsoft opened a large flagship store in New York last month with plans for more locations, and Amazon finally opened its first brick-and-mortar store this week in Seattle.

Google has dabbled in pop-up shops and last year opened a store within Curry's/PC World in London. The 1,000 sq. ft. area showcased Google products and services, including Android and Chrome-driven products. Interactive walls showcased Google services.

At the time, Neil Stern, managing partner at McMillanDoolittle consultancy, noted Google's choice to partner with an existing retailer could be a sign of its future retail strategy. U.S. electronics chains such as Best Buy are leasing out store space and carving out branded areas within their stores for brands including Apple, Microsoft and Samsung.

Perhaps branded shops within existing stores will replace a potential stand-alone flagship for Google, which did not respond to a requests by Crain's for comment.

For more:
-Read the Crain's article
-See this slideshow of Google's London pop-up shop

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